Do You Read Me?

chinatelescope

Earth now has another eye toward
the heavens—in the radio spectrum.
We see from the karst-rimmed socket

of Dawodang as well as Arecibo.
This can only improve our vision.
It’s perilous for the human race to

look with just a Western eye. That
leads to an ignorance of distance,
and as the sages of relativism tell us:

distance is time too. So have we
tended to measure surrounding space
in terms of temporary separation—

light-years, arc-seconds. We forget
the forces that unite (the constants
of gravity, celeritas). Of these our

astronomers remind us as they gather
amicably to survey the skies in search
of new life while our admirals flex

their intercontinental muscles and
continue scanning the seas for the
same old submarines. Meanwhile,

ET surely waits in radio silence.
Why leave the peaceful heavens
and land in our hellish violence?

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